Dezeen Magazine

Bicycle stop light for Aaron Betsky's cycling in suburbia opinion

"Cyclists are making cities worse for pedestrians" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are debating architecture critic Aaron Betsky's claim that riding a bicycle is the best way to experience a city.

In an opinion piece for Dezeen, Betsky said that, "bicycles are great tools for urban exploration" and that "sprawl is misunderstood and understudied by architects and designers, who generally live in downtown areas."

That also means suburbs are undesigned or designed badly, he says, "in ways that waste natural resources, that isolated us from each other, and that are ugly. I think we need to design better suburbs instead of just wishing them away, and one way to start is by understanding them better."

"Interesting topic"

Readers are divided. "A bike is a great way to get a feel for the suburbs, where Jo Average lives and sometimes works," said Ian Byrne. "Yes, you do need to watch out for other cyclists, self-driving Teslas, texting pedestrians and potholes, as others have suggested, but I feel I know cities better than if I had stayed in the center surrounded by wealthy residents and other tourists."

"Interesting topic," continued Corporate Overlords. "Cycling can be enjoyable, but to truly enjoy it in a city environment is to ride on completely separate cycleways where there is little opportunity for cars to mow you down."

Le Canal Hertzien agreed: "As cities become more cycling-friendly, cyclists become a real nuisance and danger for pedestrians: I was run over by a woman on a bike today on a pedestrian crossing."

"I prefer walking," concluded JB. "There is a slightly lower chance of being cleaned up by a Tesla with the driver in the back seat."

Is cycling the best way to see cities? Join the discussion ›

Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens in Battersea by HAL
Fully transparent Sky Pool provides "a swim like no other" between two housing blocks in London

Commenter calls swimming pool bridge an "elaborate piece of engineering"

A 35-metre-high transparent swimming pool bridge between two buildings at the Embassy Gardens development in Battersea, London, has attracted attention from readers. The 25-metre-long swimming pool is made entirely from acrylic panels.

"This is located in the extreme social experiment known as the Vauxhall Cluster... most of the flats remain over-priced and empty," said Michael Ball. "The only thing 'unique' about this swimming pool folly is that its exorbitant cost was used to offset any affordable housing in the developments to which it attaches."

"I predict exhibitionists and TikTok videos in three... two... one..." continued Bubba10.

Gavin Smitsdorp was more positive: "Elaborate piece of engineering. Most of the commentators find flimsy reasons to object. Most will never achieve such originality in their lives."

What do you think of Sky Pool? Join the discussion ›

There are three domed greenhouses at the botanical gardens
Delugan Meissl completes Taiyuan Botanical Garden with giant domed greenhouses

Readers call botanical garden complex "dystopian"

Commenters are discussing a botanical garden complex in Taiyuan, China, featuring three domed greenhouses positioned on or alongside an artificial lake. It was created by Austrian firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects.

"Dystopian," said Fabian KZ. "It looks like it's built in the future when free-ranging plants aren't a thing anymore."

"The excessive amount of concrete feels counter-intuitive to a botanical garden," added Zea Newland.

"I still find this project and the intertwining of the different ground planes and domed worlds quite magical," replied MKE Tom.

Do you think Taiyuan Botanical Garden is magical? Join the discussion ›

One Hundred by Studio Gang
Studio Gang designs One Hundred skyscraper with angled facades in St Louis

Skyscraper has "some of the sexiest coping" commenter has ever seen

Readers are admiring a tiered residential skyscraper, which architecture firm Studio Gang has completed near Forest Park in St Louis, Missouri.

"Wow, I think this is spectacular," said Bill Der. "When's the last time you saw anything unique in multi-family architecture? The creation of 'stealth' balconies and the airy floor plans for relatively basic apartments is wonderfully creative."

Ken Steffes agreed: "Great job! Yeah! Finally, something different."

"Some of the sexiest coping I've ever seen," concluded Matt U.

Are you a fan of the One Hundred skyscraper? Join the discussion ›

Read more Dezeen comments

Dezeen is the world's most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page.